Two legendary fighters go to war in this Bellator main event. Both men are on the wrong side of forty and on the doorstep of retirement, but I’m glad we get to see this awesome match-up before it’s too late. Here are my thoughts on the fight from a betting perspective.
It’s easy to see why Fedor is regarded by many as the best heavyweight of all time. Once known for his powerful boxing combinations, clinch takedowns and crazy scrambling ability, Fedor has slowed down significantly in the later stages of his career.
In fact, we rarely see Fedor shoot takedowns these days. This makes sense for an older fighter, since offensive grappling is one of the most cardio-intensive aspects of MMA. While Fedor would have a huge advantage from top position, he’d also risk blowing his gas tank on failed takedown attempts – which could be fatal against a power puncher like Jackson.
I think it’s much more likely we see Fedor box, as he has done in recent fights. He has the faster hands and still packs a punch. While he’s fresh, he will also have the advantage in terms of footwork.
The most scary thing about Fedor is his durability. He’s been getting knocked out a lot in his later career and the left hook from Ryan Bader that dropped him didn’t look particularly hard. If he eats a clean right hand on Saturday, he’s likely going to sleep.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
Jackson has often referred to himself as a street brawler, and I can’t argue with that. His style is not particularly nuanced (especially since the offensive wrestling has left his skill set in recent years). He’s looking to walk you down and take your head off with a huge right hand.
While he’s quite slow and plodding, he has the two physical traits to make his style work: huge power and a granite chin. As they say, power is the last thing to go and Jackson has the more viable style for an ageing fighter.
Like Fedor, I don’t really trust Jackson’s cardio. However, if both men are exhausted and standing in front of one another – this favor’s Jackson because of his durability.
Another factor worth mentioning is that Jackson has always idolized Fedor, calling him his favorite fighter. Could this have a negative impact on his performance?
Both men are way past their prime, yet they still retain knockout power. Since all signs indicate this fight will be a slug-fest, I’m inclined to side with the more durable combatant. Jackson hasn’t been finished with strikes since 2005, whereas Fedor looks to be packing glass.
I bet Jackson Sunday night at +139 and would cap him as the favorite. So long as “Rampage” sits at plus money, I don’t think he’s a bad play if you’re looking for action on a weekend with no UFC.
Pick: Jackson +110
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